Are you trying to save money this Christmas? Christmas presents are a large portion of the money we spend during the holiday season. Want to decrease the amount you spend on gifts, but not sure where to start? Want to cut back on gift spending without cutting back on gift giving? As you prepare for the holiday season, keep more cash in your pocket with these 16 tips to save money on your Christmas gift list.
1. Make a Budget
The first way to save money on your Christmas gift list is to make a Christmas gift budget and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be anything complex or fancy. It should be simple, easy to fill in and see where you are at when you glance at it.
First, write out how much you have to spend overall on gifts. Then list out all the people you have to buy for. Do not forget to list out service workers, teachers, name exchanges, etc. Next, put down an amount you cannot go over when spending on each particular person. Then as you purchase gifts write in the gifts and amounts you spent. Lastly, add up and double check each person’s amount that it does not go over your total gift budget number. If your total gift amount is over budget decrease some people’s gift budget or cut out a couple gifts. If you are looking to increase your holiday budget, here are 10 ways to save up money for the holidays.
2. Have a Shopping Plan
Save money on Christmas gifts by making a shopping plan before you go out or look online. Make gift lists for each person you are shopping for to stay on track and not overspend. It is easy to get distracted and spend more on cute things or things your kids don’t really need. For more on how to spend less this holiday season click here.
3. Spend Less Per Person
Another way to spend less on holiday gifts is to cut how much you spend on each person. For example, if you would spend $20 less on all the main people you buy for and you typically have 10 main people you buy for, that is a savings of $200.
4. Cut Partner Gifts
Decide with your partner to cut monetary gifts for each other this year. Instead, do something together that doesn’t cost money for each other. Here are some examples of gifts that do not cost extra money:
- Give each other massages
- Have a movie date night at home after the kids go to bed
- Leave each other positive, uplifting notes around the house
- Do a fancy dinner at home. Dress up nice, make a meal together, and eat it at the table with candles and a table cloth
- Take a drive and go Christmas light looking around your community and listen to your favorite holiday tunes
5. Change Where You Shop
Instead of buying your gifts at the high end department stores or pricy specialty stores shop at discount stores, thrift stores, and online marketplaces.
6. Shop Ahead For Christmas Gifts
Another Christmas shopping tip is to shop ahead for Christmas presents. If you wait until the end or right before Christmas to buy your gifts you will end up spending more money. Stores rely on people that are desperate or that procrastinate on their shopping. They may mark up prices because they know people will pay them.
Furthermore, if you have to ship a gift, you will pay more for shipping to get it to the person on time. Even if you pay more, shipping still may be delayed close to Christmas. Many stores have an order by date or a ship by date for Christmas in order to get it in time. Unfortunately this year with the pandemic more people are going to be shipping gifts so make sure to do your shipping of gifts as early as possible.
Another reason to buy Christmas gifts in advance is you have the best selection of products. If you wait until the end they may not have the right color or size left for what you are looking for. Sometimes they may totally be out of stock of a particular item. Then you end up settling on a product you really don’t like or the person doesn’t even want or spending lots of time running around to different stores trying to find a particular gift.
Out of Season Sales
Sometimes when you shop way ahead, like I am talking in the spring or summer, you can find amazing holiday gifts on clearance. This is not always the case, but sometimes you can find things on sale when they are out of season. For example, one year in the summer I found this snowman soap and lotion set on clearance. It was normally priced at $10.00, but it was on clearance for $2.00! So I bought 10 of them to give as gifts that Christmas to my various service workers, teachers, and day care workers. Soap and lotion lasts for a while so it was perfect and I saved a bunch of money.
7. Watch for Sales
Besides watching for out of season sales, watch for sales starting in October for Christmas gifts. If you know what you are looking for in advance, you can watch for the items to go on sale. Some stores have great sales in late October or early November. Check out store flyers weekly, watch online and in-store sales, and buy at the right time.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a great time to get a good deal on a gift. For Black Friday deals check if they have what you want online so you can avoid the crowds in the store.
8. Buy Gifts in Bulk
The next Christmas spending tip is to buy gifts in bulk. Certain gifts become cheaper the more you buy. For example, food or treat gift sets can be cheaper if you buy 5 or 10 of them. Another example is to buy wine or alcohol by the case instead of individually as you can get it cheaper. Some body products come cheaper the more you buy as well. Stores will have better sales if you buy 5 or 10 of something instead of 1 or 2. So check if a product is cheaper the more you buy and then make that your gift for those miscellaneous people. This is cheaper and easier than trying to think of a different gift for everyone on your list.
9. Make a Homemade Gift
Make a homemade treat or gift to give as a gift. Have your kids make gifts for their teachers or daycare workers. One word of caution: Before you decide to go this route, check the prices on the ingredients for the gifts. If you total up what the ingredients will cost and it makes the gift more than you would spend on a different gift from the store either change what you are making or just buy the gift and save the time and energy.
On the other hand, if you want to go the homemade gift route, start early and watch for the ingredients to go on sale. Have the items you need on your grocery list each week and then week by week pick up the ingredients that are on sale for your gift.
10. Give an Experience as a Gift
Instead of giving a monetary gift save money this Christmas and come up with something fun to do together. Plan a fun activity to do together as a gift instead of giving objects and things. Many times people will remember the good times together and memories much more or longer than they will remember what object you got them.
11. Do a Name Exchange
Do a name exchange instead of buying each person in your family a gift. This will save a lot of time and money shopping for so many people. When it is time to give the gifts, make the exchange into a fun game. Suggest a name exchange for the kids too if right now you buy for all your nieces and nephews.
12. Write a Thank You Note
Take the time and write a heartfelt thank you note to someone as their gift. People love to feel appreciated and acknowledged. Write thankful notes for those random people you may typically give gifts. If you give out Christmas cards, on the back of a Christmas card is a great place to write a thank you for someone.
13. Regift to Your Children
If your child is under 4, they will not remember the toys or gifts they get at Christmas. Therefore, there is no need to go overboard and get them all kinds of gifts.
It is still fun to watch your young children open gifts, so a way to save money on gifts is a month or two before christmas take away several toys they don’t play with often and hide them. Then for christmas wrap them up and give as new gifts. They won’t know the difference.
If you still have some of your old toys or games when you were young, give them to your children as a gift. You enjoyed them at one time – especially if you still have them. So it is likely your kids will also enjoy them. Vintage toys can be exciting, especially because you can’t find them anymore. Also, your kids may think it is neat to have or play with a toy that you did.
Lastly, another way to regift to your children is to wrap up an old toy from an older brother or sister and give it to a younger sibling.
14. Give Kids Things they Actually Need
To bulk up your kids gift number, give them clothes, socks, and shoes in the next size that they may have normally just had in their closet. Giving these as gifts doesn’t cost you any extra money and they will feel like they got more gifts. Try and give them something in their favorite brand or favorite colors to make it more special. Another example is to get them a new swimming suit for swim lessons or a weekend getaway. Sometimes getting clothes as a gift makes it more special too.
Besides clothes, if your child will need equipment for an upcoming sports season, or new piano books for piano lessons (things you would have to buy them anyways) give them as Christmas gifts. Give them a halloween costume you got on clearance after halloween for them to wear next year. It is a win win because they feel like they got more presents while you didn’t spend extra money.
15. Gift by the 3,4,5 Gift Rule
Spend less on Christmas gifts this season by using the 3, 4, or 5 gift rule. This philosophy limits the quantity of gifts and focuses on the meaning of each gift.
The 3 gift rule is when you give your kids a gift they want, a gift they need, and a gift to read.
The 4 gift rule is giving your kids a gift they want, need, wear and read. So the same as the 3 gift rule, but adding in something they can wear.
Lastly, the 5 gift rule is a gift from each of these categories want, need, wear, read and 1 gift they don’t know they need.
Make the 3, 4, or 5 gift rule a part of your family tradition because it is an easy way to cut spending on Christmas presents. It will make each gift that much more meaningful and memorable.
16. Swap Gifts With Other Families
Cut spending on Christmas presents by swapping gifts with families. Exchange toys, games, and puzzles that your kids don’t use or play with anymore with a friend or family member that has kids similar in age. The kids will think they have “brand new” toys and you didn’t spend any money.
Final Thoughts on Saving Money on Christmas gifts
Save money during the holidays by changing the way you do Christmas gifts. When you prepare for the holidays, give these 16 ideas a try to keep more cash in your pocket. Spend less money on Christmas by adjusting the way you do gifts. For more on how to cut spending this holiday season click here. Looking for more ways to save money for the holidays? Check out this list of 10 easy ways to save money for the holidays and start saving now for an enjoyable holiday.